Women's Authorship and the Early Gothic

Legacies and Innovations

Editor(s) Kathleen Hudson

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Gothic Literary Studies

  • August 2020 · 288 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786836106
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786836113
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786836120

About The Book

This edited collection examines Gothic works written by women

authors in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, with a

specific focus on the novels and chapbooks produced by less widely

commercially and critically popular writers. Bringing these authors to

the forefront of contemporary critical examinations of the Gothic,

chapters in this collection examine how these works impacted the

development of ‘women’s writing’ and Gothic writing during this time.

Offering readers an original look at the literary landscape of the period

and the roles of the creative women who defined it, the collection

argues that such works reflected a female-centred literary subculture

defined by creative exchange and innovation, one that still shapes

perceptions of the Gothic mode today. This collection, then, presents

an alternative understanding of the legacy of women Gothic authors,

anchoring this understanding in complex historical and social contexts

and providing a new world of Gothic literature for readers to explore.


‘Women’s Authorship and the Early Gothic is an impressive testament to the diversity of early women’s Gothic, painting a compelling picture of the perils and rewards of female rebellion and authorship. Often dismissed as derivative, women’s Gothic is instead revealed as a creative dialogue, mingling historical darkness with Romantic optimism.’
-Dr Dara Downey, School of English, Trinity College Dublin

‘This lively and original collection delves into the hidden, neglected
corners of early Gothic literature written by women, unearthing in the process many sparkling insights. The tale of marginalised women’s Gothic writing and its impact across generic and geographical boundaries is brilliantly interwoven throughout with the oft-repressed narrative of the creativity and professionalism of women’s authorship in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.’
-Professor Joe Bray, University of Sheffield

‘This book is undoubtedly the most exciting collection of essays on the relationship between gender and Romantic-era Gothic writing to have been published in the last decade and more. Interrogating and suspending the long-standing critical biases that have reduced a wealth of women’s Gothic writing from this period to sub-literary forms of imitation, the essays in Kathleen Hudson’s collection provide truly invigorating rereadings of a wealth of overlooked texts and writers. Ever attuned to the complex web of relationships, professional and aesthetic, in which early women Gothic writers were inscribed, it offers fresh perspectives on such matters as literary influence, inheritance and book history, taking its readers in the process well beyond the critical confines of the so-called “Female Gothic”.’
-Professor Dale Townshend, Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies

‘This volume recommends cogently, with some urgency, and by way of fresh readings of popular or little-known texts and authors, the reconsideration and reframing of the literary landscape of early Gothic writing in relation to the underappreciated contributions, innovations, and exchanges of women writers. A fine and welcome addition to the University of Wales Press’s Gothic Literary Studies series.’
-Dr Carol Margaret Davison, University of Windsor, Canada

'Kathleen Hudson did an excellent job with Women’s Authorship and the Early Gothic: Legacies and Innovations. It is a reading that presents as many ideas as fascinating proposals such as the relationship of the writers with the public, the publishers, even the role of women reflected in their works, showing with precision what it was like to be a Gothic female writer in a male-dominated market and world, along with the differences between female and male Gothic literature. Reading this book makes you open your eyes to gender, without a doubt.'
- Review by Alan D. D. on Tinta Nocturna https://tintanocturna.blogspot.com/2020/10/resena-review-womens-authorship-and.html

‘This important revisionist collection reclaims from the shadows a “monstrous regiment of women” writers whose industry and creativity helped plot the course of Gothic literature for us today. Kathleen Hudson and her fellow authors reveal what it meant to be a woman writing during the Romantic period, from the dazzling heights of the “Great Enchantress” Ann Radcliffe, to the impoverished novelists struggling to survive in the literary marketplace. This book is a must-read female powerhouse!’
- Professor Marie Mulvey-Roberts, UWE Bristol, Editor-in-Chief of Women’s Writing


List of Illustrations
List of Contributors

Alternative Genealogies: (Re)tracing the Origins of Women’s Gothic in Sophia Lee’s The Recess and Mrs. Carver’s The Horrors of Oakendale Abbey - Anna Shajirat
Gothic before Gothic: Minerva Press Reviews, Gender and the Evolution of Genre - Hannah Doherty Hudson
What ‘Poor Mrs. Kelly’ Saw: Isabella Kelly Reads The Monk - Yael Shapira
Mary Robinson’s Gothic and the Prison of Gender - Deborah Russell
Adopting the ‘Orphan’: Literary Exchange and Appropriation in Eleanor Sleath’s The Orphan of the Rhine - Kathleen Hudson
The Fiction of Mary Julia Young: Female Trade Gothic and Romantic Genre-Mixing - Nicky Lloyd
Sarah Wilkinson and J. F. Hughes: A Literary Relationship - Franz Potter
Negotiating Gothic Nationalisms in Ann Radcliffe’s Post-1797 Texts: Gaston de Blondeville and St. Alban’s Abbey - Elizabeth Bobbit
Regina Maria Roche’s The Children of the Abbey: Its Literary Life and Afterlife - Christina Morin
Self-haunted Heroines: Remapping the generic “I” back into Romantic subjectivities - Elizabeth Neiman

About the Editor(s)

Author(s): Kathleen Hudson

Kathleen Hudson is an Adjunct Professor of English Literature at Anne Arundel Community College and the United States Naval Academy, and is the author of Servants and the Gothic, 1764–1831: A half-told tale (2019).

Read more